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Musketeers open as college hoops underdog vs Wildcats

Villanova WildcatsXavier Musketeers
26-3March 06, 2014, 07:00 | Cintas Center20-10

Villanova pays a visit to Xavier on Thursday, hoping to send the Musketeers to a loss while covering the college basketball spread at Cintas Center.

The Musketeers bring a 20-10 record (17-11 ATS) to this tilt against the 26-3 Wildcats, who are 19-8 ATS. OVER/UNDER bettors have witnessed Xavier go 13-15 so far and the Wildcats go 17-10.

View Villanova Wildcats vs Xavier Musketeers Odds and Stats.

On the opening NCAA basketball line for this matchup, Xavier sat as 1.5-point underdogs over at 5Dimes. Also, check out the current total, which often goes up first at online sportsbook BetOnline.

The Musketeers - Wildcats odds would favor the Wildcats if the lines were set according to our power ranks. Xavier is rated No. 224 in the current Odds Shark poll, while Villanova is at No. 21.

Villanova was a 73-56 winner in their most recent outing at home against Marquette. They covered the 9.5-point spread as favorites. Villanova got 26 points from Darrun Hilliard II en route to a 73-56 victory over Marquette on Sunday at Villanova Pavilion.

Last time out for Xavier, they were a 71-62 loser as they battled Seton Hall on the road. They failed to cover in the match as a 1-point favorite. Xavier got 28 points from Semaj Christon on the way to a 71-62 loss against Seton Hall on Monday at Prudential Center.

How They Match Up:
Scoring and defensive stats point to some edges in this matchup. The game features Xavier's No. 113-ranked scoring average of 72.23 PPG, against a Wildcats defense rated No. 72 and allowing 66.83 PPG. The Musketeers FG% has averaged 47.32% to date this season, more than the Wildcats shooters have managed so far (46.02% per game).

Next up:
Villanova home to Georgetown, Saturday, March 8th